Yesterday was Labor Day in the states. While commonly viewed as the official end of summer and a great time to shop, Labor Day has its historical roots in unions and the working person. No matter what your views on unions today, if it wasn’t for our forefathers gathering and sometimes losing their life we would not have weekends off, eight hour work days, child labor laws etc. Even minor details of today’s workforce that we take for granted like having working fire exits have their history in unionizing.
We need to go back to celebrating the hard working people. I grew up on the New England Protestant work ethic that work sets you free and learned from my family that there was dignity in hard work. That means manually or intellectually and often times both.
In a world of Kardashians, I would rather celebrate the hard working bakers in Houston, who being stuck at work decided to continue to work and make bread to help feed everyone. The can-do attitude of people who saw that they had boats and decided to use them to rescue others.
But we don’t need to do this just during emergencies. We need to celebrate the everyperson every day. I have taught my children to thank people who clean the restrooms because it is a horrible job and they do it well and we are blessed to have them. Yes, they get paid. But a job worth doing, done well, deserves gratitude.
And that comes back to you dear reader. I am grateful that you have taken the time to read this, my labor.
Writing is hard. Writing is work. Writing is labor. We should celebrate it along with everything else. Writers instruct. Writers allow us to escape into a world that fulfills our inner needs. It is no coincidence that dictators and despots always try to diminish writers and control the message. Because it is their deepest terror that people will be inspired instead of caught in a trap of fear.
So have a good day and go do a job worth doing, well.